Rough guide on manually setting up Git on Windows

  • October 6, 2013
  • James Skemp
For both machines I'm doing this on (running Windows 7 and Windows 8) I had already installed Github for Windows. However, since I've been converted to posh-git, I wanted to do an install that would get me away from continuing to use it. The below is roughly what I did, and may not be completely correct. Install the latest version of msysgit (currently 1.8.4). Set execution policy (run as administrator).

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Goodbye BlogEngine.NET

  • September 22, 2013
  • James Skemp
On July 13, 2007 I converted my blog over from WordPress to BlogEngine.NET (having previously used custom code written in PHP). It was a great switch, as I was beginning to really dig into .NET, and I've found there's no better way to learn something than actually doing something with it. While I don't think I did much with the beta, I was in on 1.0 and was fairly active at first.

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Converting from Subversion to Git on Windows

  • February 9, 2013
  • James Skemp
With the news that Visual Studio 2012 will support Git out-of-the-box, and me deciding to stop storing my repositories locally, I decided to switch to Git this weekend. They say the best way to do this is via svn2git, which unfortunately uses Ruby. Since I'm on Windows, and haven't done Ruby development, I needed to download Ruby using RubyInstaller for Windows. Next I needed to have RubyGems support, which meant downloading from RubyForge.

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Internet Explorer 10: Platform Preview 2 now available

  • June 29, 2011
  • James Skemp
Released earlier today, Internet Explorer 10: Platform Preview 2 is now available for download. Just the other day at work I had fired up IE10PP1 to see if a new version was available, so I'll just go ahead and assume Microsoft was zeroing in on my brainwaves with this. I definitely like the direction they've gone with these platform previews, so I hope to see that continue. And that's about all I have to say about that.

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DD-WRT and my Linksys WRT54GL

  • April 23, 2011
  • James Skemp
I've been sitting on a Linksys (Cisco) WRT54GL for a long while now. A long, long, while. Originally I was going to replace my WRT54G (don't get me wrong, it still works great) and install DD-WRT for the additional features. However, I just never got around to it. Today I finally dusted off the box (I had opened it) and started getting it setup. Interestingly, the deeper I dug into DD-WRT the more confused I became.

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How to easily clear the window.applicationCache on select browsers

  • April 2, 2011
  • James Skemp
While I was working on tweaking my video game listing, and creating my offline Web application manager, I kept running into issues with the cache manifest holding onto data much longer than I would have liked. After some research I found that Chrome's interface can easily be found by going to chrome://appcache-internals/. On Safari, on the iPod Touch and iPad, you can stop/close Safari (hold down the home button on the home screen, and close the application) and then start it back up to clear the data.

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Interesting feature with parsing XML with jQuery on Safari

  • March 27, 2011
  • James Skemp
I've been playing around with HTML5 quite a bit recently, in particular with offline Web applications. My second experiment (my first is on pause) was with making my video games available, so that I can access the listing when I'm out shopping at used game stores. It's still in progress, but you can see my offline listing of video games now. My main intention is to make this available on my iPod Touch, so I was a bit dismayed when I found that the listing didn't display the title of the game.

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Raw: Using OpenSSL to create a certificate authority and update IIS 7.5

  • December 29, 2010
  • James Skemp
A raw dump of information on how to create a certificate authority and etcetera. Step 1: Basic folder and file structure creation Directories: certs, keys, requests Files: database.txt (empty), serial.txt (01, then new line), openssl.cnf (based on OpenSSL file) Step 2: Create key "c:\Program Files (x86)\Apache Software Foundation\Apache2.2\bin\openssl.exe" genrsa -des3 -out keys/_ca.key 2048 Step 3: Create certificate authority certificate "c:\Program Files (x86)\Apache Software Foundation\Apache2.2\bin\openssl.exe" req -config openssl.cnf -new -x509 -days 365 -key keys/_ca.

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The problem with installing SQL Server Express via the Microsoft Web Platform Installer

  • December 26, 2010
  • James Skemp
In the past I've talked up Microsoft's Web Platform Installer. With this tool installed you can easily get an IIS server correctly setup. However, as I work my way through Pete Brown's Silverlight 4 in Action I found myself needing to install AdventureWorks (something I had looked into in the past as well). Unfortunately, Web Platform Installer installs one of the 'lower' versions of SQL Server Express, without the advanced services, which is required for AdventureWorks.

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Getting started with StatSVN (0.7.0) and CollabNet Subversion Server

  • October 31, 2010
  • James Skemp
This past week I was looking at advanced statistical information about a couple Subversion repositories we use at work. While TortoiseSVN has some basic reporting, the downside is that, out of the box, users must have access to the repository to access this information. StatSVN, seemingly the most popular solution, works rather well as an alternative to granting this access. The downside (or upside, depending upon your perspective) is that viewers of the report can see what files changed, and how many lines, but not what the actual changes were (outside of the logged message).

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Enabling PHP file_put_contents() support on IIS 7.5 on Windows Server 2008 R2

  • September 1, 2010
  • James Skemp
I've already installed the current verison of PHP 5.2 on my Windows Server 2008 R2 machine, but unfortunately wasn't able to get content saved via the file_put_contents function. It seems that you need to add and give IUSR the necessary permissions on the file (or directory) in order for writes to work properly.

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Personal NetBeans IDE 6.9.1 setting tweaks

  • August 29, 2010
  • James Skemp
For my own personal reference, I’ve made the following tweaks to the default install of NetBeans IDE 6.9.1. Tools Options Editor Formatting Language: All Languages / Category: Tabs and Indents Expand Tabs to Spaces: unchecked (from checked) Number of Spaces per Indent: 4 (default) Tab Size: 4 (from 8)

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Tic-Tac-Toe in Visual Basic 6

  • July 24, 2010
  • James Skemp
Back in December of 2003 I created a Tic-Tac-Toe application in Visual Basic 6. Below is the code from MainWin.frm, which should be sufficient to create the application. This code is covered by a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 license. VERSION 5.00 Begin VB.Form Form1 Caption = "Tic-Tac-Toe" ClientHeight = 3255 ClientLeft = 4410 ClientTop = 3255 ClientWidth = 4080 LinkTopic = "Form1" ScaleHeight = 3255 ScaleWidth = 4080 Begin VB.CommandButton AboutThis Caption = "

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Tic-Tac-Toe using Pascal

  • July 24, 2010
  • James Skemp
The following is a really old program (November 2003) written in Pacal using Bloodshed Dev-Pascal (which seems to no longer be updated). This is the code in main.pas, which it seems is the only file really necessary. This code is covered by a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 license. program TicTacToe (input, output); label begingame, picknumber, checkmove, checkforwin, compmove, winner, nobodywon, playagain, illegalmove, compcrash, endgame; var playmove, turn, points : integer; place1, place2, place3, place4, place5, place6, place7, place8, place9 : char; currentplayer, ynagain, lastwinner : char; begin writeln; writeln(‘JRSs Tic-Tac-Toe v1.

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Setting up a task with SyncToy under a different account?

  • July 17, 2010
  • James Skemp
Every time I setup SyncToy I always, always, forget to setup the folder pairs correctly. SyncToy uses per-user folder pairs, which means that if you'll be running a scheduled task using a different user, you'll want to login as that user, setup the folder pairs in SyncToy, run the sync via SyncToy's interface, and then setup the task. If you don't do this you'll just end up with a 0x1 return code.

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Working with Virtual Hard Disks in Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2

  • June 20, 2010
  • James Skemp
A new feature in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 is the ability to work with Virtual Hard Disks (VHDs) directly within the OS, by booting from them or mounting them as additional drives. While I've had a good deal of experience with using VHDs in virtual environments, being able to work with VHDs directly is fairly new, and leaves some question as to how useful it could potentially be, since I'm happy using VirtualBox to work with virtual machines when I need to do any testing.

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Secunia consumer products - PSI and OSI

  • June 20, 2010
  • James Skemp
I have an old Windows XP machine that I know is out of date, in particular as regards the drivers, and potentially for some old software that I've forgotten I've even installed. Years and years ago it was possible to run a scan, online, on a CNET, or the like, site, which would tell you exactly what applications you had installed that needed to get upgraded, based on DLLs. Dan Conderman recommended Driver Detective, which is a free and pay service, which looks to provide part of that.

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Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition - setup for sharing files

  • June 6, 2010
  • James Skemp
When I first started downloading files, almost a decade and a half ago, I would just download everything to one directory, using whatever name the file originally had when I was downloading it. In the last couple of years I've been trying (despite Chrome's default method trying to push be back) to be much better about saving files, by creating a directory with the full name of the application - "Microsoft Web Platform Installer"

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Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition - setup for Web development

  • June 5, 2010
  • James Skemp
This afternoon I setup a machine for the following purposes: to serve as a test bed for Web development to serve as an always-available Subversion repository server to serve as a repository for shared downloads, across all my machines As time goes by the scope of the server may also change. But for now, this will work just fine. Choosing an edition The first step was to install Windows Server 2008 R2.

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Music Recommendations Please! version 0.5 beta

  • May 28, 2010
  • James Skemp
While not necessarily a step forward from version 0.4.5 of Music Recommendations Please!, version 0.5 is nonetheless a positive step. Consider this an idea-based release. As such, this application is in no way final (but might be more complete after this long weekend). Download Music Recommendations Please! version 0.5, beta. You can see a general idea of where I'd like to end up by reading my music application idea. .NET Framework 4 is required for this application.

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Music application idea

  • May 25, 2010
  • James Skemp
Surprisingly, it was way back in September of last year that I realized Music Recommendations Please!, which I hoped would help me discover new music (and perhaps help others as well). Since then I haven't used it as much as I would have hoped, but that's mostly because I'm not happy with how easy it is to get more than one artist in at a time, and generate helpful 'reports' from data returned for multiple artists.

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Flying under the radar, Cassini 4.0 released

  • May 22, 2010
  • James Skemp
Under seemingly new ownership, Cassini 4.0 has been released, via Google Code. Since a download isn't available, a link to a built version is included below. Download Cassini 4.0, based on revision 4. Visit Cassini on Google Code to see the nice new interface and functionality. Of major importance is that it supports .NET Framework 4. Tested on a Windows 7 Home Premium, 64-bit, machine. Note on building it yourself To save you some time, if you want to build a copy yourself open the project properties and on the Build tab check "

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Microsoft Web Platform Installer = the easy button

  • May 14, 2010
  • James Skemp
I like working close to the metal. It's enjoyable, even when it's difficult. Heck, overcoming the difficulty is sometimes the only fun thing about a project! But Microsoft's Web Platform Installer makes tasks so much easier to perform. And as much as I hate to admit it, I really like it. For the last handful of hours I've been getting a Windows Server 2008 R2 machine where I want it. This involves installing ASP.

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iTunes Playlists to Xml - version 1.6 released

  • May 8, 2010
  • James Skemp
Version 1.6 of iTunes Playlists to Xml is now available for download. Download iTunes Playlists to Xml 1.6. Installing and more information If you're new to iTunes Playlists to Xml, I've created a 'product page' for iTunes Playlists to Xml with all the information needed to get started. Upgrading To upgrade from any version of 1.4 or 1.5 you need to replace the following files with those in the above archive:

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BlogEngine.NET 1.6 released

  • February 10, 2010
  • James Skemp
Promising a real comment moderation system, BE.NET 1.6 was released a few days ago. Having just upgraded from 1.5.0.7, I wasn't without my issues, but overall the memory footprint doesn't seem too horrible (it's increased a bit again, but ...) Actually, the memory footprint isn't a minor issue. I have 805 posts with 688 comments, and get between 9 to 10 thousand visits a month. BlogEngine.NET starts at around 150 MB of RAM and jumps up to 210 MB.

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Using F8 on Sun VirtualBox 3.1.2 when installing Windows XP

  • February 7, 2010
  • James Skemp
For various reasons, I had need to install Windows XP on a new virtual machine earlier today (with Windows 7 64-bit as the host). For whatever reason, when getting to the point of accepting the licensing terms, before installation, I was unable to use the F8 key. After searching about, I found a number of Mac and Ubuntu users with the same issue, but no Windows users. The left control, shift, alt, and even right control (which I knew wasn't going to work, but an Ubuntu user swore by it and I was out of options) buttons did nothing to help.

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iTunes Playlists to Xml - version 1.5.3 released

  • January 10, 2010
  • James Skemp
This application has since been updated. Read about the current version of iTunes Playlists to Xml. Version 1.5.3 of iTunes Playlists to Xml is now available for download. Download iTunes Playlists to Xml 1.5.3. Installing and more information If you’re new to iTunes Playlists to Xml, I’ve created a ‘product page’ for iTunes Playlists to Xml with all the information needed to get started. Upgrading To upgrade from any version of 1.

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Simple Journal 1.0 Released

  • January 3, 2010
  • James Skemp
Version 1.0 of Simple Journal is now available for download. Simple Journal is meant to be exactly that; a very simple way to keep track of a journal. Simple Journal uses XML files to store entries, which are edited in HTML (uses TinyMCE for the WYSIWYG editor) and which allow supplementation and later updates. Download Simple Journal 1.0. To use Simple Journal extract the contents of the zip file to a directory and start _startCassini.

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Cassini 3.5.0.2 - built and ready to go

  • January 3, 2010
  • James Skemp
Cassini is the product of Dimitry Robsman, and allows ASP.NET applications to be run without a full-fledged instance of IIS. While Cassini should not be used in production environments, it's more than enough to run for minor development, or even minor projects. The last official version of Cassini at the time of this writing is 3.5.0.2. Since he's released the source, you can build your own, but what if you just want to download a pre-built version?

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iTunes Playlists to Xml - version 1.5.1 released

  • November 14, 2009
  • James Skemp
This application has since been updated. Read about the current version of iTunes Playlists to Xml. Version 1.5.2.1 is available for download, which fixes an issue with version 1.5.2. Thanks to Pierre for bringing this to my attention. Version 1.5.2 is available for download, which adds the -output argument. Version 1.5.1 of iTunes Playlists to Xml is now available for download. Download iTunes Playlists to Xml 1.5.1.

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iTunes Playlists to Xml - version 1.5 released

  • November 13, 2009
  • James Skemp
This application has since been updated. Read about the current version of iTunes Playlists to Xml. Version 1.5 of iTunes Playlists to Xml is now available for download. Download iTunes Playlists to Xml 1.5. Installing and more information If you’re new to iTunes Playlists to Xml, I’ve created a ‘product page’ for iTunes Playlists to Xml with all the information needed to get started. Upgrading To upgrade from any version of 1.

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BlogEngine.NET running on Cassini Personal Web Server

  • November 12, 2009
  • James Skemp
While Cassini is a built-in Web server part of Microsoft Visual Studio, it's also available as a stand-alone application, thanks to the work of Dmitry Robsman. The current version can be downloaded from this post regarding version 3.5.0.2 but requires that you first build the solution (the code is available under a MS-PL license). Cassini++ is also available from Codeplex, and has GUI improvements, among other changes (but is based on an older 3.

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Log Parser Plus - version 0.3 released

  • November 7, 2009
  • James Skemp
Version 0.3.1 of Log Parser Plus now features a custom LocalTime variable for IISW3C queries, and outputs the final query (for copying). The scratch pad (the unlabeled text box) will no longer clear when a new query is performed. Currently under development, Log Parser Plus (not be confused with the Web site LogParserPlus.com) is a tool to (hopefully) help work with Microsoft Log Parser. Download Log Parser Plus 0.3 BETA.

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Log Parser Plus - version 0.2.1 released

  • November 2, 2009
  • James Skemp
This is no longer the current version. View information about the current version of Log Parser Plus. Microsoft Log Parser is a command line-based utility useful to parse IIS logs and more. While a number of applications exist to help use Log Parser, as well as a number of sites containing Log Parser queries, I haven’t been very happy with them. In an attempt to make it even easier to work with Log Parser, I present version 0.

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iTunes Playlists to Xml - version 1.4.1 released

  • October 30, 2009
  • James Skemp
This application has since been updated. Read about the current version of iTunes Playlists to Xml. Version 1.4.1 of iTunes Playlists to Xml is now available for download. Download iTunes Playlists to Xml 1.4.1. Installing and more information If you’re new to iTunes Playlists to Xml, I’ve created a ‘product page’ for iTunes Playlists to Xml with all the information needed to get started. Upgrading To upgrade from version 1.

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Microsoft Log Parser custom brush for Syntax Highlighter

  • October 18, 2009
  • James Skemp
It still needs a touch of work, but a basic custom brush for Syntax Highlighter is available for download. Download the Microsoft Log Parser custom brush for Syntax Highlighter 2.0.320. Example included below and at LogParserPlus.com: logparser -rtp:-1 "SELECT cs-uri-stem, cs-uri-query, date, sc-status, cs(Referer) INTO 200sReport.txt FROM ex0902*.log WHERE (sc-status >= 200 AND sc-status < 300) ORDER BY sc-status, date, cs-uri-stem, cs-uri-query" Comments and suggestions are welcomed.

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Applications I have to install on my core development machine

  • October 9, 2009
  • James Skemp
Here's a listing of applications, as I run into them, that need to be installed on my core development machine. TortoiseSVN iTunes Oxygen Xml Editor Visual Studio CollabNet Subversion FileZilla FTP client Sun VirtualBox Serious Samurize 7-Zip Amazon MP3 Downloader Why bother creating this list? Because at the moment I've just upgraded to Windows 7 and need to reinstall my programs. Above is the order I did it.

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iTunes Music to SQLite - version 0.1 beta released

  • September 24, 2009
  • James Skemp
While it was at the same stage as it is now back on the 19th, I'm finally releasing the beta version of iTunes Music to SQLite. This console application finds all Music playlists in iTunes and imports them into a SQLite database (called iTunesMusic.s3db). You can change this by passing the database and source names as parameters. For example: iTunesMusicToSQLite.exe "datum.db" "James Skemp's 80 gig" You can run the executable and it will prompt for a key press before exiting, in case you want to view any messages.

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IIS Logs to SQLite - version 0.1 beta released

  • September 24, 2009
  • James Skemp
Unfortunately, Microsoft Log Parser is unable to convert logs into SQLite. To work around this limitation I've created IIS Logs to SQLite, which will parse IIS logs and import them into the SQLite database and table of your choice. The first beta version of this application is now available. Download IIS Logs to SQLite version 0.1. This application requires the .NET Framework version 3.5 (check your version of .NET Framework).

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Music Recommendations Please! - version 0.4.5 beta released

  • September 13, 2009
  • James Skemp
An updated version of this application was released. Download and find out more about version 0.5. The one problem I have with music is when I try to find new music that I may like. Luckily there’s a number of services that will provide recommendations, but these are typically only based on one artist, or across my entire library (in the case of the iTunes Genius service). To make this a bit easier, I looked at Last.

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Project page for iTunes Playlists to Xml now created

  • September 7, 2009
  • James Skemp
For releases of iTunes Playlists to Xml I've just been creating new posts with details, but that doesn't make all that much sense. So, I've created an actual project/product page for the application. View the project page for iTunes Playlists to Xml. Comments appreciated.

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Finding the list of files Dreamweaver will reopen on startup

  • August 19, 2009
  • James Skemp
As sometimes happens, a network share ended up going down while I was using Dreamweaver. Unfortunately, this can cause fairly major issues with Dreamweaver, if you have files still open, or if you have Dreamweaver closed, but need to open it up. Since I typically have more than one file open in Dreamweaver, and have set my preferences to remember what I've got open, I wanted to know where Dreamweaver stored the files that it was going to re-open.

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iTunes Playlists to Xml - version 1.4 released

  • July 22, 2009
  • James Skemp
This application has since been updated. Read about the current version of iTunes Playlists to Xml. Version 1.4 of iTunes Playlists to Xml is now available for download. Download iTunes Playlists to Xml 1.4. What it does While iTunes has an Xml export option, it will export only those tracks from your computer, doesn’t allow you to choose what data to export (unless you play with the view), uses a bulky Xml format, and won’t export from other sources (like iPods).

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Know every version of iTunes installed on your machine? I do.

  • July 19, 2009
  • James Skemp
I've installed the following versions of iTunes on my machine: 7.0.2.16 7.1.1.5 7.2.0.35 7.3.1.3 7.5.0.20 7.6.2.9 8.0.2.20 Know how I know that? It seems that all Apple software on Windows (iTunes, QuickTime, and Safari, at least) leaves their traces in the following directory: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Apple Computer\Installer Cache\ 313 MB of space is what I would recover if I deleted all the folders they created. Yikes.

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iTunes Playlists to Xml - version 1.3 released

  • July 4, 2009
  • James Skemp
This application has since been updated. Read about the current version of iTunes Playlists to Xml. Version 1.3 of iTunes Playlists to Xml is now available for download. Download iTunes Playlists to Xml 1.3. What it does While iTunes has an Xml export option, it will export only those tracks from your computer, doesn’t allow you to choose what data to export (unless you play with the view), uses a bulky Xml format, and won’t export from other sources (like iPods).

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iTunes Playlists to Xml - version 1.2 released

  • June 13, 2009
  • James Skemp
This application has since been updated. Read about the current version of iTunes Playlists to Xml. Version 1.2 of iTunes Playlists to Xml is now ready for download. Download iTunes Playlists to Xml version 1.2. This update should correct issues when the playlists are changed, as well as when the source is ejected. Instead of immediately connecting to iTunes, the application now allows (and requires) that you manually begin that process.

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iTunes Playlists to Xml - version 1.1 released

  • May 15, 2009
  • James Skemp
This application has since been updated. Read about the current version of iTunes Playlists to Xml. Update: Version 1.1.1 is available for download, which corrects the progress bar bug, noted in the comments below. To upgrade, simply replace your executable with the one in the above zip file. Version 1.1 of iTunes Playlists to Xml has been released. Download iTunes Playlists to Xml version 1.1. This update now appends the saved xml file with the current date and time, for ease.

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iTunes Playlists to Xml - version 1.0 released

  • March 29, 2009
  • James Skemp
This application has since been updated. Read about the current version of iTunes Playlists to Xml. Version 1.0 of iTunes Playlists to Xml has been released. Download iTunes Playlists to Xml version 1.0. Unlike the previous versions, this includes an installer (setup.exe in the zip file). Comments/suggestions welcome. New program icon will, naturally, be accepted; I know mine isn’t very good, but …

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Windows applications I use almost every day (March 2009)

  • March 14, 2009
  • James Skemp
Haven't done this in a while, so here we go. In no particular order, here's the Windows applications that I use almost every day. Those used primarily at either work or home are noted as such. WinMerge (work - I use TortoiseMerge at home, when needed) Dreamweaver (work - limited usage these days at home) oXygen Xml Editor (home) iTunes (home) FileZilla (home - if I didn't use Explorer with shares, I'd use this at work as well) TortoiseSVN (home) Visual Studio 2008 (home, since most of my work is still in ColdFusion at work) Microsoft Virtual PC (work) Internet Explorer (7 at work, 7 and 8 at home) Firefox (work) that free SQL Server Management tool (work) Google Talk (home) Notepad WordPad Things I have no choice over at work (Outlook, our timesheets application, Cisco Communication, and Track-It!

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iTunes Playlists to Xml - version 0.6b released

  • March 5, 2009
  • James Skemp
This application has since been updated. Read about the current version of iTunes Playlists to Xml. iTunes Playlists to Xml, version 0.6b, is now available for download. Download iTunes Playlists to Xml - version 0.6b. This version now handles the bug where playlists could be out of date, by alerting the user. This version also includes functionality to save the Xml file, as well as configure the name the application will use when generating the Xml file.

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Configuration files for Windows Forms Applications

  • March 5, 2009
  • James Skemp
Since I know I'll run across this again ... In my iTunes Playlists to Xml application I wanted to allow users the ability to persist their name across sessions. The supported method seems to be using application configuration files; in my case, something like iTunesApplication.exe.config. However, try as I could, I just couldn't find anything solid on how to create the configuration file. First, I had to add a reference to "System.

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iTunes Playlists to Xml - version 0.4b released

  • March 2, 2009
  • James Skemp
This application has since been updated. Read about the current version of iTunes Playlists to Xml. Having just released version 0.3b of iTunes Playlists to Xml, I’ve got yet another release. This release includes menus, the ability to select what data you want in the Xml, and a schema for validation. Unfortunately, I’ve discovered one bug (that would have existed before) with playlists getting updated in iTunes, between the refresh in this application, and the time it was clicked on.

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iTunes Playlists to Xml - version 0.3b released

  • February 27, 2009
  • James Skemp
This application has since been updated. Read about the current version of iTunes Playlists to Xml. Having just released version 0.2b of iTunes Playlists to Xml, I’ve done some updates, bringing it up to version 0.3b. This release fixes all of the known issues, from version 0.2b. There are no known issues with version 0.3b. Download iTunes Playlists to Xml - version 0.3b. iTunes Playlists to Xml requires .NET Framework 2.

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iTunes Playlists to Xml - version 0.2b released

  • February 26, 2009
  • James Skemp
This application has since been updated. Read about the current version of iTunes Playlists to Xml. Previously I discussed an iTunes application that I was working on, in C#. That application has been fixed up a bit, and is now available for download. Download iTunes Playlists to Xml - version 0.2b. To run the application extract the contents of the zip to a directory. Then open iTunesApplication.exe. If iTunes is not running, it will start before this application does.

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Parsing iTunes data with C#

  • February 22, 2009
  • James Skemp
This application has since been updated. Read about the current version of iTunes Playlists to Xml. For better or worse, when I began setting up my iPod I opted to manually organize my iPod. In large part, this was because at the time I had a machine with a pretty small hard drive, and couldn't keep all of my music on it. However, with a new HP, I was able to store all my music on that computer, as well as back it up to a USB drive.

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Microsoft Log Parser timestamp formats

  • February 6, 2009
  • James Skemp
The following article covers the timestamp format specifiers accepted by Microsoft Log Parser. Date Year y, yy, yyy, yyyy = last 1, 2, 3, or 4 digits, relative to 2000 Month M = no leading zero MM = leading zero MP = leading space MX = no leading zero, or with or without zero when parsing MMM = 3-character abbreviation MMMM = full name of month Day d = no leading zero dd = leading zero dp = leading space dx = no leading zero, or with or without zero when parsing ddd = 3-character abbreviation dddd = full name of day Time Hour h or H = no leading zero hh or HH = leading zero hp or HP = leading space hx or HX = leading zero, or with or without leading zero when parsing Minute m = no leading zero mm = leading zero mp = leading space mx = leading zero, or with or without leading zero when parsing Second s = no leading zero ss = leading zero sp = leading space sx = leading zero, or with or without leading zero when parsing Millisecond l = no leading zero ll = leading zero lp = leading space lx = leading zero, or with or without leading zero when parsing Nanosecond n = no leading zero nn = leading zero np = leading space nx = leading zero, or with or without leading zero when parsing Other tt = AM/PM ?

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Necessary iTunes changes

  • December 26, 2008
  • James Skemp
Moving from my XP to my Vista machine, for purchasing and using iTunes, it seems I've got some changes to make. Edit > Preferences... > Store > Buy using a Shopping Cart Edit > Preferences... > Store > Automatically check for available downloads Why the first option is the default, not sure, but ...

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If Firefox recommends ad blocking software ...

  • December 24, 2008
  • James Skemp
The other day I installed YSlow on my home machine. When I did so I noticed that they were recommending the major ad blocking add-on, but I didn't think too much of it. I was reading an article that questioned again (id est, old news) whether Chrome would strain the Google/Mozilla relationship. Since the ad blocking add-on blocks Google ads, I wonder if instead of Chrome, it's these recommended add-ons that are causing the strain.

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Parse FileZilla Server logs with Log Parser

  • November 23, 2008
  • James Skemp
While FileZilla Server is one of the best FTP servers available, it's logging leaves much to be desired. However, after a couple of hours, I've created a script for Log Parser that will generate a W3C log from FileZilla Server's logs. Save the following to a file, for example, FileZillaServer.sql: SELECT  SUBSTR(Text, 1, SUB(INDEX_OF(Text, ')'), 1)) AS RequestNumber  , TO_TIMESTAMP(   TRIM(    SUBSTR(     Text     , ADD(INDEX_OF(Text, ')'), 1)

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Current, major, browsers

  • November 23, 2008
  • James Skemp
Do users know that they're not using the current version of their browser? While many browsers will check for updated versions (Firefox, for example), some do not. Anywho, I've decided, looking at the numbers, that I would start adding a check on my sites to alert users if there browser is out of date, and tell them where they can get an updated version. Note that I refer to the desktop version of these browsers, and mention only the major browsers.

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Browser environments for testing

  • November 20, 2008
  • James Skemp
In a previous post I mentioned using virtual machines for testing. Here's the three virtual machines that I feel cover the most options for browser testing (on Windows):  Current versions Looking at the top 10 browsers for this site, using data from Google Analytics, we have; Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Mozilla, Opera, Playstation 3, Konqueror, SeaMonkey, and Camino. Of those, Internet Explorer and Firefox, obviously, account for the largest amount of traffic, at about 86% of all visits.

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How to really compact Virtual PC hard drives

  • November 18, 2008
  • James Skemp
No names mentioned, but I've recently been using a number of virtual machines for testing purposes. One machine has Internet Explorer 6 and Firefox 2 installed, while a second has Internet Explorer 7, Firefox 3, and the most recent versions of Opera, Safari (for Windows) and Chrome. However, the virtual hard drives were 10 GB each, due to a large number of apps being installed that didn't need to be, for our browser-based testing.

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How to get started with Microsoft Log Parser

  • November 7, 2008
  • James Skemp
I've written about Microsoft Log Parser before, and even started a site around it. But, I noticed the other day that I hadn't written on how to get started with this powerful tool. Getting Log Parser The current version of Log Parser is version 2.2, which you can download from Microsoft. Installing Log Parser While it says supported operating systems are "Windows 2000; Windows Server 2003; Windows XP Professional Edition," it appears to run fine on Windows XP Home Edition and Windows Vista (at least Ultimate has been personally confirmed).

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LogParserPlus.com - Updates for 2008.11.04

  • November 5, 2008
  • James Skemp
Log Parser Plus was updated last night, during the election coverage, with the following changes: All functions now have descriptions (pulled almost completely from the included help file). Expressions have been added. Visit LogParserPlus.com for all of this information, and more, as it becomes available. (Next addition will be samples for the functions, and the start of a fleshed-out queries listing.

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oXygen XML Editor 10 released

  • October 23, 2008
  • James Skemp
Luckily I fired it up this very morning and was alerted to the new upgrade - Gmail decided to mark their automated message as spam. Luckily I was covered under the original maintenance plan, so ... free upgrade, but even if you're not, you may want to give the new features a look. Read more about oXygen XML Editor.

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Backing up my iTunes library - how I do it

  • October 14, 2008
  • James Skemp
Here's how I backup my iTunes library. My environment I have a HP Pavilion a620n with Windows XP Home, SP3, where I do my iTunes purchasing and copying to my iPod. I have an iPod Classic, 80 GB, that I manually sync from my a620n. I have a HP Pavilion a6360t with Windows Vista Ultimate, SP1. I have a HP Pocket Media Drive, 160 GB.

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LogParserPlus.com launched

  • September 26, 2008
  • James Skemp
Since I now have actual content, there can be more visitors to Log Parser Plus, outside of the government. In additon to posting the articles here, I'll be posting a number of articles to Log Parser Plus in an attempt to make Microsoft's Log Parser utility that much easier. The initial focus will be on IIS-related queries, but who knows where it'll end up.

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Why does Google Chrome hate Flash?

  • September 21, 2008
  • James Skemp
For the last couple of days I've tried opening a Flash video within Google Chrome. By doing so, I've effectively killed not just Google Chrome, but also my OS while Chrome attempts to cope. I noticed from the beginning that Chrome's task manager listed the Flash plug-in as a separate 'page,' and thought it might cause issues, but this is pretty sad. I already forced an upgrade once, and and upgrading from 0.

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Subversion and TortoiseSVN: Moving a repository

  • September 12, 2008
  • James Skemp
This evening I had to rename a project folder, since I was creating a site with the same name. Since I had the project (application) under Subversion, I also needed to move the repository. Here's what I did: svnadmin create b:\repos\_newName_ svnadmin dump b:\repos\_oldName_ > b:\repos_dump\_oldName_.dump svnadmin load b:\repos\_newName_ < b:\repos_dump\_oldName_.dump At this point I could either checkout the repository, or change where the checked out directory points to.

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Internet Explorer Virtual PC images - hidden, but back

  • September 4, 2008
  • James Skemp
When Microsoft released IE 7 they also offered an image / virtual hard drive that could be used to test Internet Explorer 7, without installing it on your machine. Good idea. While they're buried, Microsoft has released a number of other images, which expire in January '09. Internet Explorer Application Compatibility VPC Image Come on Microsoft, release some that don't expire, but that have some other limited functionality.

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James Skemp's BlogEngine.NET themes

  • August 31, 2008
  • James Skemp
The following is a list of links to posts regarding themes I have worked on for BlogEngine.NET, and that are available for use. (Themes I've worked on for others are not included here.) Listed alphabetically. MWRT-002 Download for BE.NET 1.4.5.0. Swan Dive Download for BE.NET 1.4.5.0. As I'm not a designer, I typically use open source designs, such as those from Open Source Web Design, Open Design Community, Open Web Design (please post a link if you know of more).

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Installing Subversion binaries for Apache 2.2.x

  • August 19, 2008
  • James Skemp
Recently I went ahead and installed Apache 2.2.9 to my Windows Vista Ultimate machine. The purpose of doing that was to move towards a Subversion install running on Apache. In this article, I'll be covering that installation. Getting Subversion Obviously, the first thing to do is to get Subversion. We're looking for the Windows Apache 2.2.x binaries, in particular. At the time of this writing, that's svn-win32-1.5.1.zip. In a previous guide, which you may have followed, I installed the Windows installer with the basic win32 binaries.

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Upgrading to BlogEngine.NET 1.4.5

  • August 16, 2008
  • James Skemp
With the release of BlogEngine.NET 1.4.5 a bit ago ... it was time to give it another go upgrading. Quick notes on my experience: Downloaded and FTP'd the zip. Remoted into my VPS.  Extracted the contents of the zip to another folder. Unchecked read-only on the extracted contents. Backed up my complete BlogEngine directory.

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Install Apache 2.2.9 to Windows Vista (Ultimate)

  • August 15, 2008
  • James Skemp
In this article I'll be covering an installation of Apache 2.2.9 to Windows Vista Ultimate. I'll be installing Apache so that you can run IIS as well (hence, Apache will be on a different port). You may want to do this if you want to run Subversion on Apache (as I do). Installing Apache 2.2 Currently the Apache HTTP Server has both a 2.0 and 2.2 version. For new development, the 2.

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Microsoft purchased Caligari and released trueSpace7.6 for free?!?

  • July 27, 2008
  • James Skemp
I was big into 3d rendering in college, since I had a good deal of free time, and I wanted to do something productive. Anyways, trueSpace, a fairly big name in 3D, is now available for free, thanks to Microsoft. It sounds like this was for Virtual Earth in particular, but Channel 9 (which is where I heard this release notice from) points out, correctly, that it's also very valuable for games (in particular, for Microsoft's XBox and game generation tools).

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Review: Apache JMeter

  • July 24, 2008
  • James Skemp
The following is a book review of Apache JMeter, written by Emily H. Halili. First off, my experience with automated software/application testing is extremely limited. For the most part any testing I've done has been manual testing. Recently, however, I was introduced to, and began using, Microsoft's Web Application Stress Tool. Because of this level of experience, Emily Halili's Apache JMeter was the perfect book for me, as it contains an analysis of automated testing (including when best to do it, versus manual testing), in addition to the introduction to Apache JMeter.

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Playing around with Subversion with a test repository

  • July 12, 2008
  • James Skemp
I've flirted with source/version/revision control since September 2006 (with Subversion), but have never really dug in to actually do anthing with it. But now, that changes. The following guide was created using Subversion 1.4.6 and TortoiseSVN 1.4.8. However, this should still be applicable. Also, because of the number and size of the images, I've limited the images shown directly in the guide. All links to these images should open in a new window.

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Playstation 3 Firmware 2.41 and running fine

  • July 10, 2008
  • James Skemp
While not yet announced on the official blog, Firmware 2.41 is out this morning for the Playstation 3. No word yet on what happened with 2.40, but, that's to be expected I suppose (and unfortunately). (I didn't get 2.40 when it was out - they seem to release these in the morning, and most days I'm at work in the morning.) Now if only you got something that really mattered when you got a trophy/achievement/what-have-you .

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BlogEngine.NET 1.4 - Memory usage spike?

  • July 6, 2008
  • James Skemp
Update, July 9, 2008: This update is a little late, but … Mads was able to determine what the issue was and has provided a fix. I'll be trying another update this week. I recently upgraded to BlogEngine.NET 1.4, from 1.3. While it was, overall, a smooth enough process, while trying to dig into the large memory usage spike, I ran into a number of issues. I've written about BlogEngine.

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How to change your default language in Visual Studio 2008 (the right way)

  • July 2, 2008
  • James Skemp
There's a number of resources online on how to change the default language in Visual Studio. However, none of them are correct. They all state that you should reset your settings to default and then re-setup your settings. Huh? Instead, if you modify the CurrentSettings.vssettings file, you can keep all your other settings, without the pain of having to re-import everything else. First, find your settings file, which appears to default to the My Documents\Visual Studio x\Settings\ directory.

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Formatting drives in Windows Vista

  • June 18, 2008
  • James Skemp
So Disk Management can't be found using the Vista Start Search. However, you can type in Computer Management, and get to Disk Management from there. From what I was reading online, as long as the BIOS sees the drive, Windows should have popped up a message asking about formatting it. Too bad you have to go through this extra step - it would have been nice to have at least seen a small pop-up regarding this.

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Collection down after opening - resolution

  • June 16, 2008
  • James Skemp
We've been running into an issue, off and on, with ColdFusion MX 7.0.2 having issues with Verity collections. During one of our nightly jobs, two Verity collections are purged, through ColdFusion, and then re-built.  Sometimes this will bring the collection down, resulting in a message like the following. Collection down after opening (10) Using the mdvdk executable, you can get some information about the collection, and even bring it back up.

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AVG 8 setup parameters

  • June 14, 2008
  • James Skemp
AVG is a pretty good piece of anti-virus software. However, as was recently noticed, it's Link Scanner functionality can be, and is, quite the resource hog. When running the installation program, it's possible to pass parameters to disable this functionality. However, there's no complete listing of parameters on the site. In an attempt to make this information easier to find, I include it below.  installation without Web Shield avg_*.exe /REMOVE_FEATURE fea_AVG_HttpScanner

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Installing TortoiseSVN to Windows Vista

  • June 8, 2008
  • James Skemp
In a previous article, I installed Subversion and TortoiseSVN to a Windows XP Home Edition machine. Later, I upgraded the installation. Just recently I covered installing Subversion 1.4.6 to Windows Vista. This time I'll be installing TortoiseSVN on that same machine. The setup The system I'm using is a HP Pavilion a6360t, with 4GB install RAM, 2.20 GHz, with two cores, running Windows Vista Ultimate SP1, 32-bit. Downloading TortoiseSVN Since TortoiseSVN is for Windows, it makes it even easier to find the version to download.

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Installing Subversion to Windows Vista

  • June 7, 2008
  • James Skemp
In a previous article, I installed Subversion and TortoiseSVN to a Windows XP Home Edition machine. Later, I upgraded the installation. This time I'll be installing Subversion on a Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 machine. The setup The system I'm using is a HP Pavilion a6360t, with 4GB install RAM, 2.20 GHz, with two cores, running Windows Vista Ultimate SP1, 32-bit. I'm already running IIS 7, so I won't be installing Apache to run Subversion.

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Cross Sums Helper 2.0 - testing needed

  • June 2, 2008
  • James Skemp
After sleeping on it (albeit poorly), I've resolved the issue that was stopping production on the new version of my Cross Sums Helper application. However, I need some help testing. Download Cross Sums Helper 2.0 - 67 KB (.NET Framework 2.0 or higher is required). UPDATE: Download Cross Sums Helper 2.1 - 65 KB If you don't have .NET Framework (and are on Windows) let me know - I had a hard time finding any real stats on these numbers, even from MS people.

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Directories to parameters with IIS 6 and wildcard redirection

  • May 29, 2008
  • James Skemp
Some parameters have been changed to protect the innocent.  This could be old news, and since I'm talking about IIS 6, I know it is. But, I just discovered the other day how to pass parameters to a file using IIS 6, a virtual directory, and a URL that contains directories below the virtual directory. So, at work I had a horrible URL like the following (ignore the invalid space): /filename.

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Dynamic user-controlled layout in a CMS

  • May 25, 2008
  • James Skemp
This article is meant to hold some of the thoughts that I've been having about allowing a user to control the layout of a page, in particular for use within a content management system (CMS). The system would need to be able to support a user creating templates easily, but hopefully without the use of tables. In the CSS Advanced Layout Module, there is a draft specification for Template-based positioning.

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MSN stole your Windows 98 version of IE?

  • May 23, 2008
  • James Skemp
While installing Windows 98 Second Edition on a Virtual PC 2007 virtual machine, I was running into issues with IE being hijacked by the MSN connection wizard. In fact, they've also hijacked the Connect to the Internet shortcut on the Desktop. However, if you run icwconn1.exe from the Run menu, you should be able to connect successfully, instead of having MSN try to find a modem.

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Keyboard shortcuts for Visual Studio that mimic Dreamweaver

  • May 14, 2008
  • James Skemp
I like Dreamweaver. After Notepad, and various other apps like it, I used FrontPage, was scarred, and was saved by Dreamweaver. However, Dreamweaver can't handle .NET files very well. So when I moved to Windows and started using BlogEngine.NET I naturally started looking at how I could edit the source files. Visual Web Developer 2005 had been released, so ... Skipping forward, I'm starting to work with Visual Studio more and more.

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Grisoft AVG 8.0 - Free version released

  • May 1, 2008
  • James Skemp
Ever since I was told about Grisoft AVG, way back when, I've been a heavy user. 8.0 recently came out, but a free version wasn't available. However, I was notified today that a free version of 8.0 is now available. Go get it.   Updated May 4, 2008: Updated the link. They've made it very difficult to get from the Grisoft home page to the free version's download page .

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How to quickly hide all of the Windows Vista Ultimate language packs

  • April 24, 2008
  • James Skemp
While there's no way to hide them all at once, you can make it a short chore to hide the Windows Vista Ultimate language packs that you don't use. 1) Right-click, H. 2) Allow admin privileges. 3) Right-click, H. 4) Repeat step 3 for each language pack. It takes less than a minute.

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My Visual Studio 2008 Preferences

  • April 19, 2008
  • James Skemp
This is almost purely for my own benefit. Tools > Options (showing all settings) Environment > General  Animate environment tools (unchecked) Environment > Startup At startup: Show empty environment Download content every: (unchecked) Projects and Solutions > Build and Run Before building: Prompt to save all changes Text Editor > All Languages  Display: Line numbers (checked) Text Editor > All Languages > Tabs Indenting: Smart Tab: Tab size: 4 Indent size: 4 Keep tabs Text Editor > C# > New Lines New line options for braces (uncheck all) New line options for keywords (uncheck all) Text Editor > CSS > Format Style: Semi-expanded Text Editor > HTML Format Insert attribute value quotes when typing (unchecked) Miscellaneous Auto ID elements on paste in Source view (unchecked) All other settings are left to default.

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My Dreamweaver 8 Preferences

  • April 19, 2008
  • James Skemp
This is almost purely for my own benefit ... Edit > Preferences Code Format Indent with 1 Tab Code Hints Close tags: Never Invisible Elements Scripts Comments  Line breaks CSS dipslay: none All other settings are defaults.

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Upgrading Vista Home Premium to Vista Ultimate (right now)

  • April 17, 2008
  • James Skemp
About 30 minutes ago I started upgrading from Vista Home Premium to Vista Ultimate, using a NFS copy of Ultimate I received at the Heroes Happen {Here} event in 'Madison' (today). For the most part, everything is backed up, so it should be a painless install, no matter what happens. Five steps; Copying Windows files Gathering files Expanding files Installing features and updates Completing upgrade What's initially scary is the "Your upgrade may take several hours to complete.

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Java is silly

  • April 13, 2008
  • James Skemp
My main computer is, once again, horribly low on free space. Running through my installed programs, I once again see the wonders of installing Java. Multiple versions of 1.4, 5, and 6. Checking my new Vista machine, I have Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment 6 Update 1, but not the Java(TM) 6 Update 5 that my XP Home has. Are these really the same? Yes, yes they are (thanks for sticking with not only one versioning chain, but also one name, Sun).

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Are the Adobe Photoshop Express terms too tough to work with?

  • March 27, 2008
  • James Skemp
Recently the much anticipated Photoshop Express was released. However, crawling through the general terms of use there's a rather troublesome paragraph. Using the terms that are effective 3/1/2008, at http://www.photoshop.com/express/terms.html, we have the following at 8.a.: Adobe does not claim ownership of Your Content. However, with respect to Your Content that you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Services, you grant Adobe a worldwide, royalty-free, nonexclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, and fully sublicensable license to use, distribute, derive revenue or other remuneration from, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, publicly perform and publicly display such Content (in whole or in part) and to incorporate such Content into other Materials or works in any format or medium now known or later developed.

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Congrats Apple - you've gotten away with it

  • March 22, 2008
  • James Skemp
Congrats Apple - you've gotten away with it. Media 2.0 has pulled out their banners, and is waving them proudly, all the while talking talking about how Safari 3.1 is now a part of Apple Update on Windows. I'm sure what you're more excited about is that nobody is talking about ... the fact that the size of your updates is as large as the initial installer. That's right, you've gotten away with it.

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Adding .NET functionality to Windows Vista Home Premium Internet Information Services

  • March 22, 2008
  • James Skemp
I had previously covered how to install IIS 7 on Windows Vista Home Premium. This time I'll be briefly covering what you need to enable ASP.NET as well. As before, you'll want to select Control Panel from the Start menu, then click on the Programs link. Next, click on Turn Windows features on or off. Expand Internet Information Services, followed by the World Wide Web Services and Application Development Features.

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How to install Internet Information Services (IIS) 7 on Windows Vista Home Premium

  • March 21, 2008
  • James Skemp
This guide covers Windows Vista Home Premium SP1, and may differ for other versions. I'll also only be covering the basic, default, installation. A guide covering the addition of additional features, like .NET capabilities, may be released as well. While limited, Windows Vista Home Premium allows Internet Information Services (IIS) 7 to be installed with little fuss, using the Control Panel interface. First, select Start > Control Panel.

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Windows Vista SP1 installation: painless

  • March 19, 2008
  • James Skemp
Granted my machine came new with Windows Vista (Home Premium), but that doesn't nullify the fact that Windows Vista SP1 installation was a breeze on my business machine. The listing of enhancements is pretty impressive, and does much to alleviate the disappointments I had regarding certain aspects (such as the fact that SP1 supposedly changes the file copy/move functionality back to Windows XP; one of the things I really liked, once I found out about it, was that Vista doesn't keep working with the file action in the background, once the window is removed.

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HP Pavilion a6360t clean-up

  • March 4, 2008
  • James Skemp
With a new HP Pavilion a6360t, a number of things needed to be done to clean the machine up, from it's default factory setup. Uninstall Norton Internet Security (there's an uninstall option through the program's Start menu). After a restart, I still needed to go back and delete the empty directory from the Start menu. Uninstall My HP Games through the Control Panel.

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Tips on using the Microsoft Access Upsizing Wizard

  • February 24, 2008
  • James Skemp
In no particular order, here are some tips if you're using the Microsoft Access Upsizing Wizard to convert your Access database to SQL (SQL Express 2005, in my case). The tips Make sure you've downloaded the Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio Express tools as well. When connecting with the above, make note of the server you're connecting to; you'll need this for later. For example, PAVA620N\SQLEXPRESS (that's computer name \ instance name of SQL Server).

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Using Xml4Ssp 1.3 Rev 1

  • February 24, 2008
  • James Skemp
Xml4Ssp is a Windows XML generator for SlideShowPro. While the program still needs some work, it's pretty usable as it is. Since there's no real documentation, I'll be covering how I ended up using it to generate my latest gallery. Starting folder structure I began with the following folder structure: casio_images  Pearl FullsizeImage Images Thumb The only folder that contained content was the FullsizeImage directory, in which I dumped my JPG originals.

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Quick and dirty conversions to FLV (Flash Video)

  • February 23, 2008
  • James Skemp
I purchased a Casio EX-Z1200 a bit ago, which I've been playing around with. Overall, I've been very happy with it, however, it outputs movies to the MOV format. While this seemed great for Apple, it wasn't the best for me. After testing out QuickTime Pro (7. something) and Ulead Movie Wizard 3.2 SE VCD (which came with the camera), I was about to settle for less than I hoped for.

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Determining memory, and more, with Ubuntu

  • February 17, 2008
  • James Skemp
Unfortunately, Crucial's system scanner tool doesn't work on Linux. While unfortunate, it turns out that there's an easy way to determine how much memory you've currently got, and how much you can increase that to, using a simple comand. sudo lshw That's all there is to it. This gives not only an overview of how much you've got, and how much you can have, but also what banks are in use with what, and other system-related 'stuff.

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Firebug: Don't enable for every site

  • February 8, 2008
  • James Skemp
After a deal of searching, I've finally discovered why my Firefox browser was crashing so often. So often, in fact, that I have Internet Explorer 7 a chance (and it showed how much of a fight it can now put up). The short story: don't enable Firebug for all sites. Gmail has recently been warning about this, stating that slow-downs are likely. One config setting, javascript.options.strict, when set to true, can also cause issues with Google AdSense.

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Making oXygen XML Editor (9.1) portable

  • January 21, 2008
  • James Skemp
The below information is correct for version 9.1. Comments on other versions are appreciated. With flash drives becoming more and relevant, it's always good to find programs that can be run on these powerful drives. <oXygen/> XML Editor is one such program. Making <oXygen/> portable On the official site, there's a post regarding making <oXygen/> portable. However, what does it really involve? Easily enough, it doesn't involve much more than is stated in the post.

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BlogEngine 1.3 upgrade issues

  • December 24, 2007
  • James Skemp
There's been quite the party for the last 30 minutes or so. BlogEngine 1.3 was released a couple of days ago, and I finally upgraded. Unlike what I should have done, I upgraded my live installation first. Yikes. For some reason, all of the permissions on the sub-folders and files was lost. Since web.config couldn't be accessed, the site went down - hard. After a bunch of Google searches, and no solutions, I started pressing buttons.

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A brief overview of IIS 6.0 and the W3C extended log format

  • November 3, 2007
  • James Skemp
In Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0, you can choose to use a number of different formats for your access logs. Access logs contain information about what files are requested, whether the request was successful or not. Of all the available formats, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) extended log file format is by far the most flexible format available, as you can select the information that you would like to log.

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BlogEngine.NET Theme - MWRT-002

  • October 13, 2007
  • James Skemp
Updated for BlogEngine.NET 1.3! Not a very original name, but I can see how it was created … Anyways, I’m proud to present another theme for BlogEngine.NET, called MWRT-002. This theme is based upon the template of the same name by MyWebResource, and made available on Open Source Web Design. A zip of the theme can be downloaded from my testing site at JamesRSkemp.net. Download the zip file - for BlogEngine.

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Determining which IIS 6.0 Application Pool belongs to which application

  • October 6, 2007
  • James Skemp
In IIS 6.0, you can setup Application Pools for each of your sites. My knowledge of the exact benefits of this is somewhat lacking, but what I do understand is that these help applications (Web sites) stay within their own bounds, and prevent them from having a bad effect upon each other. For example, if one application is preforming poorly, as long as it's not a server-wide issue, the other sites on the server will be impacted minimally.

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Log Parser script: Percent of status codes across all hits/requests

  • October 1, 2007
  • James Skemp
Note: This article was written using Log Parser 2.2. Therefore, while it may work for a different version, it may not. The following SQL can be used by Log Parser to generate a chart with the total requests (for a day, month, or year) and what percent each status code is of those requests. An example chart can be found at the end of this article. First, I assume that the below is put in the same directory as the logs you would like to parse.

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Swan Dive updated for BlogEngine.NET 1.2 release

  • September 30, 2007
  • James Skemp
BlogEngine.NET 1.2.0.0 has been released. In 'honor' of this release, I've updated Swan Dive, using the Standard theme as a guide. Any questions or concerns can be directed to me via the comments on the original post. View the original post, and download Swan Dive.

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Review of Steve Krug's Don't Make Me Think: 2nd Edition (with notes)

  • September 28, 2007
  • James Skemp
As it promises, Steve Krug's Don't Make Me Think: 2nd Edition, is a quick, but extremely usable, guide to Web usability and design. The book took me less than a day to read (less than 3 hours total over the days of September 26 and 27, of 2007), but has become, in my mind, a requirement for even beginners (like myself) of Web design. Since everyone who develops for the Web should have some idea of design and usability, this book should really be a mandatory requirement for said work.

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How to ensure that performance counters continue after a restart

  • September 19, 2007
  • James Skemp
A few days ago my server was restarted in the early morning hours. I had been logging network and processor usage using Windows built-in performance monitoring, but when the server restarted, the logs did not. A bit of research later, it appears that there is a way to have Windows restart the logging after a system restart. To enable this, it seems you just need to have the log stop after a certain amount of time (for example, after x hours, or x days).

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Using Log Parser to find users accounts used to log into an FTP site

  • September 13, 2007
  • James Skemp
The following Log Parser query can be used on FTP log files in order to determine what user names were used to login, or attempt to login, to an FTP site. logparser "select cs-uri-stem, count(cs-method) from ex*.log where cs-method like '%USER' group by cs-uri-stem order by count(cs-method),cs-uri-stem"  This assumes that you've added Log Parser to your path, and that you're running this from your log file directory.

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Log Parser queries to find 400 and 500 http status codes

  • September 9, 2007
  • James Skemp
Note: This article was written using Log Parser 2.2. Therefore, while it may work for a different version, it may not. In a previous article, I discussed how to use Log Parser to find 404 errors in IIS log files. This time, I've made it a little broader, by giving some queries to find all 400 codes, and all 500 codes, through log files. There may be a better way to find these codes (instead of my IN statement), but a standard LIKE doesn't seem to work.

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Compiling BlogEngine.NET source with Microsoft Visual C# 2005 Express Edition

  • September 5, 2007
  • James Skemp
The follow covers how to compile BlogEngine.NET from the most recently available source code. This was originally posted to the Codeplex discussions for BlogEngine.NET, and will eventually get moved into the wiki. (Update Sept 8, 2007: Added to the BlogEngine.NET wiki, but not yet linked from other pages. Also made a minor change to step one.) Compiling source with Microsoft Visual C# 2005 Express Edition 1) Download the current source code from the Releases tab or the Source code tab on CodePlex.

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Is it really that simple - redirecting a single file on IIS

  • September 2, 2007
  • James Skemp
For various reasons, I've been working towards migrating from an Apache server to an IIS one for my sites. For Gavin's site, I couldn't get away with it, but I don't have any problem making things more difficult for myself :D However, this means that old URLs may not be working as they should. My experience with IIS is a working knowledge of it, and therefore I know what I need to know, picking up what I can.

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Persona 3 Shuffle trick

  • August 18, 2007
  • James Skemp
I've spent a couple of hours, the last couple of days, playing Persona 3 (Playstation 2). After winning certain battles, you can get a 'shuffle' mode of two or three cards (at least, as far as I've gotten). So, you see what the cards are, they turn over, and then they're shuffled. They are all usually good, but just to different degrees; for example, you might already have what one of the card would give, and you've been getting real crap for what another card would give, .

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Where have all the XML validators gone?

  • August 7, 2007
  • James Skemp
It seems the XML Validation service is down/unavailable/what-have-you, and many of the other XML validators just don't seem to work. However, Validome has a pretty good service. You have to make sure you grab the right language, but, other than that ... I've got my XML file - http://jamesrskemp.net/vehicle_gas.xml - validating with a DTD, but my attempts at getting a schema to work failed pretty hard .

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Find 404 errors using Log Parser

  • August 4, 2007
  • James Skemp
Note: This article was written using Log Parser 2.2. Therefore, while it may work for a different version, it may not. The following code will generate a listing of calls that generated a 404 error. logparser "SELECT cs-uri-stem, cs-uri-query, date, sc-status, cs(Referer) INTO 404report.txt FROM ex.log WHERE sc-status = 404 ORDER BY date, cs-uri-stem, cs-uri-query" This assumes that you've currently got a command line open in the folder containing your IIS logs, and that you are logging the above information, as well as that logparser is setup in your PATH line.

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Microsoft's Log Parser 2.2

  • July 29, 2007
  • James Skemp
Year's ago, Microsoft released Log Parser 2.2, which is a tool for analyzing IIS log files, event viewer exports, and etcetera. There's a Professor Windows article from May 2005 which covers Log Parser, to some extent, and the download is available from Microsoft. Unfortunately, it's all command line, but it seems interesting enough, nonetheless. I would have liked to have used AWStats (and probably still will), but I just didn't want to bother with the config file today.

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BlogEngine.NET 1.1 Theme - Swan Dive

  • July 25, 2007
  • James Skemp
Updated for BlogEngine.NET 1.3! Update 8/16/2008: This theme should work fine on BlogEngine.NET 1.4.5 or lower, using the 1.3 link. I’m proud to present a theme for BlogEngine.NET (tested with 1.1) called Swan Dive. This theme is based upon the template of the same name by Homefront Studios, and made available on Open Source Web Design. While this is technically my third theme for BlogEngine.NET, it’s the first for public consumption.

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Gmail and Firefox 2.0.0.5 - issues with JavaScript?

  • July 24, 2007
  • James Skemp
Over the past couple of days I've noticed issues with the Inbox view of Gmail being extremely slow on Firefox (2.0.0.5, the current version). Disabling JavaScript makes the load much faster (naturally), but even switching to Internet Explorer (7) works (with JS on). With Firefox 2.0.0.5 already having a security issue, I wonder if updating was a good decision in this case. Perhaps 2.0.0.5 was released a bit too quickly?

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Helpful Dreamweaver regular expressions for BlogEngine.NET

  • July 21, 2007
  • James Skemp
While looking for posts, in the App_Data/posts directory, I needed a find and replace for the title of the posts.  It's a simple query, and here it is: <title>[\s\S]*</title> Note: This post is probably more for me than anyone else ;) 

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WordPress 2.2.1 Import/Export function problems

  • July 18, 2007
  • James Skemp
I had the 'opportunity' today to import a WordPress blog from one server to another. While WordPress 2.2.x no comes with built-in functionality to export, and then import, an XML file, I've found that it's anything but simple and trustworthy. It seems that there may be a built-in limit to the amount of posts that can be imported. For me, I had to do an initial import (the XML file was approximately 2.

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Image thumbnails - blindingly fast on Ubuntu (vs. Windows)?

  • July 17, 2007
  • James Skemp
I'm at work, just finishing up my lunch period, and I'm really wishing I had access to my Ubuntu machine right now. The reason? I just put in a CD of 200 images - one of my backup CDs - and was hoping to get a quick glance at what images were contained on the CD. However, Windows was crawling through the thumbnail generation. Adobe Bridge isn't much faster (but is what I ended up going with).

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BlogEngine.NET 1.1 released

  • July 16, 2007
  • James Skemp
I'm really excited about this (since it fixes a few bugs that have had an impact on me). Find out more at www.dotnetblogengine.net/ Now that 1.1 has been released, I'm going to be actively looking at theme creation; I've got mine, of course, but I've got some ideas for others as well.

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BlogEngine.NET - now used by StrivingLife

  • July 13, 2007
  • James Skemp
With a new host, comes a unique move. Previously I was using WordPress, since I was hosted on a Linux (shared) server. Fortunately, I've decided to move to a Windows VPS, since the month of June was full of either slow down, or completely down, times. Since I don't want to install PHP and MySQL (which I would want to pay for the external dbs anyway), I've decided to switch my content out of WordPress.

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Ubuntu 7.04 - Server Edition installed

  • June 26, 2007
  • James Skemp

Just about finished ... Quite the process, but things seem to be running okay - now I just have to determine whether it was worth it ...

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Don't let my recent posts confuse you

  • June 18, 2007
  • James Skemp
... I'm not an Ubuntu-only user yet (unlike some people I know).  Granted, I like using it, since I've believed, for some time, that if you want to run Apache, you can't really run it on Windows ... (Granted, I'm having a really difficult time trying to stick to my guns with Apache, versus IIS, but ... well, more on that in the future.) I will probably blow this current box away and re-install Ubuntu, without the Windows partition, and doing a lot more building from source, for example, for Firefox.

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Configuring Apache for per-user pages

  • June 18, 2007
  • James Skemp

In a previous post, I covered installing Apache 2.2.4 on Ubuntu. Unfortunately, if you want to create content for this server, you need to either use the root account, or change the permissions on the /usr/local/apache2/htdocs directory. Let's keep things that way.

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Quickie: Install Apache 2.2.4 on Ubuntu

  • June 15, 2007
  • James Skemp
May not be the best, but ... here's how I installed Apache 2.2.4 on Ubuntu (7.04), based on David Winter's guide Building Apache 2.2 from source for Ubuntu Dapper. All code from a terminal, unless otherwise noted. sudo apt-get install build-essential cd mkdir src cd src I downloaded zlib from http://www.zlib.net/ (zlib source code, version 1.2.3, tar.gz format) into the src folder, and extracted it to the same.

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Safari, now available for Windows

  • June 12, 2007
  • James Skemp

Thanks to Dan Conderman (of MadisonHotSpots) I found out this morning that Safari is now available for Windows users, as part of the Safari 3 Public Beta.

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Eclipse SDK 3.2.2 to Ubuntu 7.04

  • June 12, 2007
  • James Skemp

Having already installed JDK 5.0 on Ubuntu, it's time to install what I really wanted in the first place - Eclipse.

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Installing Sun's Java Development Kit 5.0 Update 12 on Ubuntu 7.04

  • June 11, 2007
  • James Skemp

I don't have much desire to update from the repositories all the time, for whatever reason. Supposedly, if you run Eclipse from the download manager on Ubuntu, you can expect one slow experience. So ... time to start by installing Sun's Java.

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Initial thoughts on moving Firefox settings from Windows to Ubuntu

  • May 30, 2007
  • James Skemp

This past Friday, I installed Ubuntu 6.06, upgraded it to 6.10, upgraded it to 7.04. I didn't have too much time to actually use it this weekend, but I'm beginning to, attempting to move towards using it almost exclusively for day-to-day stuff.

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More comments in WordPress 2.1.2

  • March 25, 2007
  • James Skemp

I noticed the other day that after upgrading to WordPress 2.1.2, many of the ads that the AdSense-Deluxe plugin was adding were not getting really getting added.

Normally I add the necessary AdSense-Deluxe (ASD) code immediately after the 'more' comment. However, if I changed the location of the ASD code, the ads displayed correctly. Eh?

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The major failing of Akismet ...

  • February 25, 2007
  • James Skemp

The major failing of the Akismet plug-in is that you can't determine which IPs, if any, are spamming your site the most.

Akismet needs to have the ability to group by IP, as well as show counts for each IP.

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Online backups?

  • February 23, 2007
  • James Skemp

I was reading an article the other day, which was discussing a companies backup plan. It's suicidal for companies, in this day and age, not to have some kind of backup plan in place (and, most importantly, tested). Yet, for home users, especially those with important documents on their computers, it's almost approaching suicidal.

There's ways to do these backups by burning to CD or DVD, of course, and even Windows seems to have something built in (or at least my HP computer with a DVD-burner does), but you actually have to run the utility, and put a disc in the drive.

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Not impressed by the WordPress 2.1 feature list

  • January 22, 2007
  • James Skemp

WordPress 2.1 was released today and, unfortunately, I'm just not horribly impressed by the new feature list.  Granted, it's a short feature list, but I see few reasons to upgrade.  The main reason?  Most of these features look like they're geared towards non-technical/shared-hosting users.

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Browser support for different versions of JavaScript

  • January 19, 2007
  • James Skemp

After a number of Google searches, I've been unable to find a listing of what browsers support what versions of JavaScript. The few sites I did find were AnyBrowser.com and Mozilla.org. Unfortunately, the information they provide is pretty focused. In this article I'll be going over this information, and trying to dig up more.

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The WordPress calendar is a table

  • January 15, 2007
  • James Skemp

There's a number of problems with WordPress, as far as accessibility goes. However, the easiest one to fix is the problem with the calendar, which displays in the default theme, as well as many custom ones (I'm sure). It lacks a summary tag.

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Google SketchUp 6 released (?)

  • January 9, 2007
  • James Skemp
I thought Google SketchUp had been released for public consumption before, but ... Google SketchUp 6 is available in both a free, as well as a pay Pro version, and it's quite impressive. Having played with other tools, like Rhino3D, this is significantly easier, but seemingly on-par, at least for rectangular objects. Go to http://sketchup.google.com/ for more information. While you're there, take a look at the number of bonus packs available, all of which are seemingly free.

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Terragen&trade; 2 Technology Preview to be released December 15

  • December 15, 2006
  • James Skemp
Development on Planetside Software's Terragen&trade; has been extremely slow in the last couple of years.  While new versions and news were coming out at a semi-steady pace years ago, visible development dried up. All that changes on December 15 (possibly) with the release of the Terragen 2 Technology Preview.  It's almost 7:30 CST, which means December 16 in a number of parts of the world, and there's no sign of the download yet.

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WordPress: Fake user registrations

  • December 11, 2006
  • James Skemp
For the past couple days I've noticed a rash of fake user account's being created.  I wonder if this isn't meant to be some new way to possibly exploit WordPress. I've kept the original emails I received from WordPress, and am very tempted to delete the accounts.  However, WordPress only seems to allow the deletion of accounts.  What if I want to 'ban' an account/username/email? I suppose I'll have to go find a plugin, or build one myself.

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PHP Forum Software Showdown Part 6: phpBB

  • November 25, 2006
  • James Skemp
It's that time again. This time, we'll be looking at phpBB. “phpBB is a high powered, fully scalable, and highly customizable Open Source bulletin board package. phpBB has a user-friendly interface, simple and straightforward administration panel, and helpful FAQ. Based on the powerful PHP server language and your choice of MySQL, MS-SQL, PostgreSQL or Access/ODBC database servers, phpBB is the ideal free community solution for all web sites.” Lot's of features, so let's get to it.

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PHP Forum Software Showdown Part 5: PunBB

  • November 24, 2006
  • James Skemp

Almost there. This time, we'll be looking at PunBB. First, I did donate to PunBB development some time ago. At the time, I liked PunBB, and received some great support. It's been sometime since that time, so I don't know how things stand.

Anywho, “PunBB is a fast and lightweight PHP-powered discussion board. It is released under the GNU General Public License. Its primary goals are to be faster, smaller and less graphically intensive as compared to other discussion boards. PunBB has fewer features than many other discussion boards, but is generally faster and outputs smaller, semantically correct XHTML-compliant pages.”

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PHP Forum Software Showdown Part 4: MyBB

  • November 22, 2006
  • James Skemp

This time, we'll be looking at MyBB. “MyBB is a powerful, efficient and free forum package developed in PHP and MySQL. MyBB has been designed with the end users in mind, you and your subscribers. Full control over your discussion system is presented right at the tip of your fingers, from multiple styles and themes to the ultimate customisation of your forums using the template system.”

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PHP Forum Software Showdown Part 3: Simple Machines

  • November 21, 2006
  • James Skemp

Curiously, in late-September 2006, Simple Machines Forum turned three (it had been three years since 1.0 beta 1). That's curious because the current stable version of Simple Machines is 1.0.9, and there's a 1.1 RC3 out as well (as of late-October 2006).

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PHP Forum Software Showdown Part 2: Vanilla

  • November 20, 2006
  • James Skemp

While the Vanilla forum's are fairly unknown, it's been around for a little over a year. “Vanilla is an open-source, standards-compliant, multi-lingual, fully extensible discussion forum for the web.” The version we'll be installing, 1.0.1, was released in late-August 2006.

File and folder size

The zip file for Vanilla 1.0.1 (which is the only download type) weighs in at just under 400 KB. Unzipped, it's almost 1.2 MB in size. Overall, that's pretty small.

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PHP Forum Software Showdown Part 1: bbPress

  • November 19, 2006
  • James Skemp

A relative new-comer, bbPress “is forum software with a twist from the creators of WordPress”. The first public version, 0.72, was released in mid-October 2006, and the version we'll be installing, 0.73, was released a couple of weeks later. Downloading bbPress is fairly easy, since there's only two options – one for the installer in .zip, and one in .tar.gz.

File and folder size

At 170 KB, the zip file is extremely small, and is less than 500 KB unzipped. Of the six pieces of forum software that I'll be reviewing, bbPress is the smallest, but we'll see what that translates into as far as functionality.

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PHP Forum Software Showdown

  • November 18, 2006
  • James Skemp

Hopefully by the end of the month, I'll have posted six reviews for six different pieces of forum software, that run on PHP (and MySQL).

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Three reasons Microsoft Firefox is a hoax

  • November 14, 2006
  • James Skemp
Three reasons Microsoft Firefox is a hoax, in order of when I spotted them. 1) "it's better now ... like seriously ..." 2) Site Ground banner in the bottom left corner. 3) Create a better video, eh? Microsoft doesn't need to reuse the same video they used elsewhere. 4) Free email address?  How 90s/early 00s ... The Register: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/11/14/ms_firefox/ Microsoft(R) Firefox | We've Made it Better

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ColdFusion MX 7 hosting, for free?

  • November 12, 2006
  • James Skemp

On this site, I have a number of articles discussing how to setup ColdFusion MX, both version 6.1 and version 7.0. These tutorials will get you up and running on your own computer, but there's no information on how to continue on to a real, live, host.

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It's time to grow up - Why IE 7 means we all win

  • October 25, 2006
  • James Skemp
Earlier today I ran across an article titled "IE7 vs. FireFox: Why Microsoft Lost the Battle," which stated at the end that "All in all, IE evolution is not impressive at all. It will still have one advantage though: after installing/reinstalling XP or Vista, IE7 will be the first and only browser used to download Opera, BonEcho or FireFox…" Unfortunately, this article, as well as the numerous other articles that state that Microsoft's IE 7 is 'too little, too late,' are way off base, which is quite the good thing.

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WinMerge 2.6 released

  • October 16, 2006
  • James Skemp

The very helpful, and always cool, WinMerge has been updated to version 2.6. Grab it while it's hot.

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Photoshop is fun!

  • October 5, 2006
  • James Skemp
Duh. Unfortunately, much like Google Video, you can get sucked into the program and end up spending hours (2 and a half in my case) goofing around, getting nothing of real value done. Of course, that begs the question of whether experience, as experience, is of any value. Do we, simply by experiencing, benefit? I suppose when it comes to use a technology, like Photoshop, any experience is a good experience.

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My first video to Google Video?

  • September 25, 2006
  • James Skemp

Yesterday, I did multiple takes for a video on how to create snippets in Dreamweaver 8. The video ended up being pretty good, I think, albeit the video size was a bit large, and the resolution was a bit small (640x480 is what Google recommends).

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Is it past time for Microsoft to open IIS?

  • September 23, 2006
  • James Skemp
There's a reason PHP and Apache are so popular on the Web. It's the same reason that most beginner's, especially those that have no formal training, start with these technologies. In a word, both technologies are not only open source, but free to use. With the right guide, a user can be up and running with Apache and PHP in a couple of hours. Unfortunately, Microsoft's IIS (Internet Information Services) is something that few home-grown Web users have the honour of using.

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Installing Subversion and TortoiseSVN to a Windows XP, Home Edition, SP2, local machine with Dreamweaver 8

  • September 16, 2006
  • James Skemp
The Subversion aspect has been updated for Windows Vista. So too has the TortoiseSVN installation. The Dreamweaver aspect has not been touched. I also have an article about using Subversion.  When projects become large, or you have the need to keep information on what files you’ve modified, for any coding project, you may look for some kind of version control system. There’s software like Microsoft’s SourceSafe, but that can be costly, and according to some, it’s a clunky solution.

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Firefox 1.5.0.7 released today

  • September 14, 2006
  • James Skemp
Firefox 1.5.0.7 was released today.  Once again, I found out about this by seeing a site mention it, instead of my browser notifying me ... Ah well.  It's recommended that you download, so go do it!  Note that the partial download failed for me.  Firefox actually had to download a 6.1 MB file to update Firefox, instead of the under 600 KB file it initially downloaded.  While I was at it, I checked my Extensions for updates, which I also recommend you do as well.

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Version control systems - any suggestions?

  • September 14, 2006
  • James Skemp
Version control is something that I've been interested in for the past several months (actually, what month is it, September? I guess it's been longer than just a couple of months) but that I haven't been able to dig into as much as I'd like. Subversion keeps coming up as a good piece of software, with the addition of Trac. Since I wrote the guide to installing Apache 2.0.x a bit ago, I have no reason for not getting started with Subversion.

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Dreamweaver 8 as a MXML IDE?

  • September 7, 2006
  • James Skemp
I've spent the last couple of hours trying to get Dreamweaver 8 to begin to function as a MXML IDE. Unfortunately, while I can get every <mx: tag added to the code hints, I'm having a heck of a time getting the actual code hints to function. The small tutorial that Macromedia (and truly it was Macromedia at the time) provided isn't very helpful at all. CodeSnipers.com (link below) has some information on using Dreamweaver 8 a Ruby IDE, but since Ruby appears to be so function based .

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Compiling Flex applications with Dreamweaver

  • September 6, 2006
  • James Skemp

Tom Lee wrote a post in July detailing how to compile and run Flex applications using Dreamweaver. Since Flex 2 is making me very excited, I felt it was post worthy (especially since I won't have to do a Google search to get back to his post now).

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Lynx for Win32

  • September 5, 2006
  • James Skemp

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Installing Apache 2.0.59 to a Windows-based computer, locally: Part 4

  • August 28, 2006
  • James Skemp
In the previous three parts of this guide, we setup Apache 2.0.59 and then created the necessary connections to use ActivePerl, mod_perl, ColdFusion MX 6.1, ColdFusion MX 7.0.2, PHP 4.4.2, PHP 5.1.4, MySQL 4.1.18, and PostgreSQL 8.1.3. This time, we're going to bring everything together by creating a number of batch files to fairly easily switch between various Web server setups. What is a batch file? A batch file is basically a way to run a number of Windows prompts at once.

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Installing Apache 2.0.59 to a Windows-based computer, locally: Part 3

  • August 26, 2006
  • James Skemp
In Part 1 of this Apache 2.0.59 guide, we setup Apache 2.0.59 on a Windows XP SP2 machine. We also setup Perl and mod_perl, attempting to mimic our Apache 1.3.34 install. In Part 2 of this Apache 2.0.59 guide, we setup ColdFusion MX 6.1 and 7.0. This time, we'll be continuing in our quest by adding support for both PHP 4 and PHP 5. In previous guides, we installed PHP 4 and PHP 5, so if you need to install either one, do so with the above directions.

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Installing Apache 2.0.59 to a Windows-based computer, locally: Part 1

  • August 22, 2006
  • James Skemp
In a previous article, I described how to install Apache 1.3.34 to an average home computer, running Windows XP. Since then, only Apache 1.3.35 has been released that would allow me to update my guide, even though the current 1.3.x version is 1.3.37. There's also a desire on my part to use Apache 2.0, even though my host has not yet begun using them. For that reason, I'll be walking through a second installation of Apache on a home computer, so that both Apache 1.

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Installing Eclipse 3.2 to a Windows XP SP2 machine

  • August 19, 2006
  • James Skemp
In this guide, we'll be installing Eclipse 3.2. The environment I'll be using is as follows. HP Pavilion a620n 2.20 Ghz, 960 MB (1 GB) of RAM Windows XP Home, SP2 What is Eclipse? “Eclipse is an open source community whose projects are focused on providing a vendor-neutral open development platform and application frameworks for building software.” (From the Eclipse.org Web site.) In other words, Eclipse is an open source editor capable of helping you write the necessary code for a number of programming languages.

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If there's one thing that I don't like about WordPress ..

  • August 11, 2006
  • James Skemp

... it's that updating is such a pain in the behind if you have to work remotely via FTP.

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Four working browsers (at least)

  • August 10, 2006
  • James Skemp

There's just something about having four different browsers on your computer, to say the least. I do believe I've Lynx installed as well, but it's hardly used these days ... for better or worse.

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Google Videos - How social networking can work

  • July 27, 2006
  • James Skemp

I was trying to pass some time, and came upon Adventures in Linux - Episode I, on Google Video. While the top 100 is full of material of little lasting value, it's nice to see the 1-2% of content that actually serves a purpose.

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Moving the location of PHP on your hard drive

  • July 1, 2006
  • James Skemp
In this article, we'll be moving our installation of PHP 4.4.2 from c:\php\ to c:\php4\. We'll be doing this primarily because we may like the ability to run multiple versions of PHP at one time, on our development server. This will pave the way for our future installation of PHP 5.1.4 (or the current version of PHP 5.x). The added benefit is that we'll have an idea of just how many documents are involved in a relatively simple change.

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Build your own Firefox extension

  • June 21, 2006
  • James Skemp

There's a great little guide over at webmonkey that discusses how to build your own Firefox extension.

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Initial thoughts on a square image canvas for fractals

  • June 9, 2006
  • James Skemp

I've been a part of a number of boards in my years, but the one that I've probably stayed on with for the longest is the board at Fractovia. In response to an image, I mentioned the canvas which turned into it's own thread (Squares?). Here's my intial reply, which I just had to save:

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Upgrading to Zend Optimizer 3.0.1 on a local Windows-based, Apache, server

  • June 8, 2006
  • James Skemp
In a previous guide, we installed Zend Optimizer 2.6.2 to a local Windows-based Apache 1.x server, running PHP 4.4.2. This time, we'll be upgrading Zend Optimizer from 2.6.2 to 3.0.1. Downloading and backups First, we'll need to download a copy from http://www.zend.com/products/zend_optimizer/. We've already setup an account when we downloaded 2.6.2, so we can simply log in. Of course, if you've forgotten your password you can request assistance, and if you haven't downloaded Zend Optimizer before, you can setup an account.

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Creating a Microsoft Management Console for our local Windows-based, Apache server

  • June 3, 2006
  • James Skemp

In a previous tutorials, we discussed how to access the Services control panel from Windows. In this tutorial, we'll be setting up a custom console that will provide us an easy way to access both our Services control panel, an Event Viewer, as well as other management tools.

First, we'll need to go to "Start" > "Run…", or press Windows + R on our keyboards. This will bring up a Run window. Type 'mmc', without the quotes, and press enter or OK.

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Wacom and Digital Innovator

  • June 2, 2006
  • James Skemp

Some time ago, I purchased a Wacom Graphire (the larger 6 x 8 model) direct from Wacom (since the local shops either didn't carry or were sold out). Since then, I've completed two surveys and received two DVDs from the Digital Innovator series.

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Upgrading (our local install of) ActivePerl

  • May 26, 2006
  • James Skemp
In a previous guide, we walked through installing ActivePerl on a local machine. This time, we'll be upgrading ActivePerl. For this guide, we'll be upgrading from ActivePerl 5.8.7.815 to 5.8.8.817. However, since the installation requires the uninstallation of previous versions of ActivePerl, we'll simply be installing a new version of ActivePerl. If you have not installed Perl before, you can skip ahead to "Installing Perl" below. Please note that this guide will work equally well for the installation of, or upgrade to, ActivePerl 5.

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1,000 spam caught by Akismet!

  • May 26, 2006
  • James Skemp

As of this morning, exactly 1,000 spam have been caught by Akismet for this site. Not too shabby. Unfortunately, I don't know when this started, but it was before I got really hit.

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First Debian install = unsuccessful

  • May 20, 2006
  • James Skemp

My first shot at installing Debian didn't go quite so well. I'm attempting to install on a HP Pavilion XE734, using pretty much the base system. One addition appears to be a 3Com Fast Etherlink PCI card, from the late 90s ... (3C595-TX).

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The 'easy' way to add the description meta tag to WordPress posts

  • April 29, 2006
  • James Skemp
According to some people, the keywords meta tag has more relevancy/use than the description meta tag. Unfortunately, this is dead wrong. As I've been able to prove (for myself, at least) this last month, the meta description is quite alive and well. Why people think it's not only dead, but surpassed by the meta keywords (!!!), I'll never understand. (And, by the way, these were August '05, January '06 articles/posts.

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Essential Firefox extensions for the Web producer/developer

  • April 21, 2006
  • James Skemp

There's a handful of extensions for Firefox that I found absolutely necessary in my day-to-day Web production and development. Below, I've outlined the essentials, as well as those that are near the top of the crop.

Please note that my current setup is Windows, with Firefox 1.5.0.2. After each extension, I've listed the current version, at the time of this writing. I cannot speak for any versions before or after those listed.

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Cross Sums Number Combinations Guide

  • April 13, 2006
  • James Skemp

Quite a while ago - back in May of 2003 actually - I began work on a guide that would display every possible number combination for cross sum puzzles. Since then, a number of people have corrected mistakes that crept in, resulting in a number of different versions of the guide over the last (almost) two years.

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WP-ShortStat SQL queries

  • April 4, 2006
  • James Skemp
The wp-shortstat plugin, modified for WordPress 2.x use by Markus Kaemmerer, is a great little plugin. I've been using it since March 17, and since Markus has been doing a deal of updating (additional functionality, as well as bug fixes), I've been checking it on a regular basis (and have looked through the code more than once). However, since I started out by using 1.3, I've got a problem with old records skewing my stats.

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Installing ColdFusion MX 7.0.1 on a local Windows-based, Apache, server

  • March 31, 2006
  • James Skemp
Note: For information on updating to ColdFusion MX 7.0.2, see Upgrading our installation of ColdFusion MX 7.0.1 on a local Windows-based, Apache, server. Update: October 10, 2006 @ 7:11 pm - Thanks to Michael Bryce for his helpful comments regarding this documentation. In this article, we'll be walking through an installation of ColdFusion MX 7.0.1, Developer's Edition. Since we've already covered the installation of ColdFusion MX 6.

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Installing PostgreSQL on a local Windows-based, Apache, server

  • March 15, 2006
  • James Skemp
While we've already setup MySQL, another popular SQL server is PostgreSQL. Like MySQL, PostgreSQL is absolutely free, and will allow us to create databases on our local server. Downloading PostgreSQL We'll be downloading the most current version of PostgreSQL, which is 8.1.3 at the time of this writing. You can download the installation file from http://www.postgresql.org/ftp/win32. We'll want to download the regular zip file, called postgresql-8.1.3-1.zip, and weighing in at 21 MB.

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Upgrading (our local install of) WordPress

  • March 11, 2006
  • James Skemp

In a previous guide, we walked through installing WordPress on a local machine. This time, we'll be upgrading WordPress. For this guide, we'll be upgrading from WordPress 2.0.1 to 2.0.2. Note that this guide will work equally well for upgrading to 2.0.3, 2.0.4 or 2.0.5.

Downloading WordPress

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Installing ColdFusion on a local Windows-based, Apache, server

  • February 27, 2006
  • James Skemp

Note: For information on installing, or upgrading to ColdFusion MX 7.0.1, see Installing ColdFusion MX 7.0.1 on a local Windows-based, Apache, server.

In this tutorial, we'll be working through an installation of ColdFusion MX 6.1, Developer's Edition, on a local, Windows-based, Apache server. On this server, we've setup Apache, PHP, and MySQL, but will also want to have the ability to work with ColdFusion code (however, not necessarily on the same sites that we'll be using PHP). We'll be doing this to experience a more corporate Web-programming language – corporate primarily because of the costs associated with ColdFusion.

From the marketing, we see that "the [ColdFusion MX 6.1] Developer Edition, [is] a fully functional server for local development purposes only that helps you learn ColdFusion MX 6.1 or deploy to third-party hosting providers. Access is limited to localhost and one remote IP address.".

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A local, Apache Web server, on a Windows XP computer

  • February 27, 2006
  • James Skemp
My intention is to write a number of guides that will help someone build a functional Web server for testing purposes. Since Windows is fairly popular, I've decided to outline how to install Web server programs on it. Since Apache is both powerful and free, I've opted to use it as the core, instead of IIS, or the like. I also plan on keeping the various technologies up-to-date, yet continuing to provide the instructions for past versions used, just in case.

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Installing Zend Optimizer on a local Windows-based, Apache, server

  • February 26, 2006
  • James Skemp

Note: This guide should work equally well for Zend Optimizer 3.0.1 and above. For a guide on upgrading this 2.6.2 install, see Upgrading to Zend Optimizer 3.0.1 on a local Windows-based, Apache, server.

From Zend's FAQ,

Why use the Zend Optimizer; isn't PHP supposed to be quite fast already?

The standard Zend run-time compiler used by PHP is indeed extremely fast, generating code that is usually 2 to 10 times faster. But an application that uses the Zend Optimizer typically executes another 40% to 100% faster.

So, Zend Optimizer will help decrease the time spent on processing code. If you run the file we created a few steps back, probably called http://localhost/phpinfo.php (which basically runs <?php phpinfo(); ?>), you'll notice a line that says "This program makes use of the Zend Scripting Language Engine: Zend Engine v1.3.0, Copyright © 1998-2004 Zend Technologies". This is the standard Zend run-time compiler that is mentioned above. Once we download and install the Zend Optimizer, we'll see some additional lines here.

Download Zend Optimizer

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Installing MySQL Administrator on a local Windows-based, Apache, server

  • February 25, 2006
  • James Skemp
Last time, we successfully installed both MySQL and phpMyAdmin on our local server. However, we only had one user. This time, we'll be installing MySQL Administrator, to give us the ability to add administer MySQL in a way that we can't do with phpMyAdmin. Before we go, please note that the MySQL Administrator does not take away the value of phpMyAdmin. In fact, phpMyAdmin is usually how you'll be able to administer your MySQL databases in the real world.

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Installing MySQL and phpMyAdmin on a local Windows-based, Apache, server

  • February 24, 2006
  • James Skemp
Note: This guide should work equally well for phpMyAdmin 2.8.1 and above. For a guide on upgrading this 2.7.0-pl2 install, see Upgrading phpMyAdmin (2.7.0-pl2 to 2.8.1) on a local, Windows-based, Apache server. MySQL will allow us to create databases on our local server. With PHP, this will allow us to install applications like the free WordPress, as well as number of open source content management systems, not to mention bulletin boards and the like.

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Installing PHP on a local Windows-based, Apache, server

  • February 22, 2006
  • James Skemp
While our previous article walked through adding Perl to our local server, Perl just isn't going to cut it for creating dynamic content. For that, we're going to have to install a more powerful language. As I said quite a few articles ago, if we would have gone the IIS route, we could have the use of ASP. However, since we're going the Apache route, that means PHP is our best choice.

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Log file analysis of our Windows-based, Apache, Web sites

  • February 20, 2006
  • James Skemp
In our previous articles, we walked through installing Apache to a Windows XP home computer.  This time, we'll be setting up our log files for analysis, and installing a way to view the log file information. Log files are created by Web sites to track page views and visitors.  For example, if we go to a page on one of our local Web sites with Firefox, like http://website.localhost/, it adds the following lines to a file called access.

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Setting up Dreamweaver and Nvu to recognize your server

  • February 19, 2006
  • James Skemp

Now that we've setup Apache on our local computer, and effectively created a basic Web server, it's time to look at setting up some popular programs to work with these sites. I'll be looking at two programs, the costly Dreamweaver (8) and the free Nvu (1.0).

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Creating additional testing sites in Apache, on a local Windows computer

  • February 18, 2006
  • James Skemp

It may happen that you'd like to test multiple sites on one machine. There's a number of ways to do this. Following our previous tutorial, Installing Apache to a Windows-based computer, locally, we can either dump additional folders in our Apache root, or we can create additional subdomains under localhost.

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Installing Apache to a Windows-based computer, locally

  • February 16, 2006
  • James Skemp

In this tutorial, we'll be walking through the installation of Apache 1.3 to an average home computer running Windows XP, Home Edition (SP1). Anyone running an average home computer, with a newer version of Windows, like XP, should be able to follow these steps and have an installation of their own. Older versions of Windows, like 98 and Me, should also be able to handle an installation, although some steps may differ slightly.

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OpenOffice is still a processing hog

  • February 7, 2006
  • James Skemp

Get OpenOffice.org I like OpenOffice, I do. I think that OpenOffice is where things are heading in the future.

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January 2006 browser statistics

  • February 1, 2006
  • James Skemp
In January, looking at the number of pages that were viewed, around 63% of visitors used Internet Explorer to access a page on the StrivingLife.net Network, while 26% used Firefox.  After that, about 3.5% used Safari, followed by 2.9% using Mozilla and 2.2% using Opera.  Netscape?  1.4%. Of course, the Firefox numbers give it away pretty well - we cater to a more technologically literate group than the Internet as a whole.

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Great PHP and MySQL tutorial

  • November 5, 2005
  • James Skemp

There's a great tutorial over at http://www.freewebmasterhelp.com/tutorials/phpmysql detailing how to use PHP with MySQL. I worked through this tutorial, along with a couple of others, to setup a pretty simple PHP script. I'll be adding to it for a new gallery (as the old one is too bulky ... ).

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Free file comparision in Dreamweaver

  • October 31, 2005
  • James Skemp

I found a great post at http://angelo.mandato.com/blog/?p=39, regarding a free file comparision utility for Dreamweaver / Windows, called WinMerge (winmerge.org).

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Personalize WordPress and save yourself a headache

  • October 20, 2005
  • James Skemp

Did you know:

If you do a search on Google for "Powered by [WP]" (where [WP] is WordPress), you'll end up with over 25.3 million returned results?

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Experiments with PDFs

  • October 15, 2005
  • James Skemp
I like PDFs. While a number of individuals will attack PDFs with blanket statements, PDFs are a great way to allow users to print documents from the Internet as intended.  So, instead of printing off a Web page and losing 10 to 20 characters from the right-side, you can print off a document formatted specifically for printers. Of course, if you use them as the sole content delivery method, you may run into issues.

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StrivingLife.net network popularity

  • October 7, 2005
  • James Skemp

As I said this morning, site popularity can be determined by how many people are viewing the content, and how many people are using the content.

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Creating the network - the host

  • October 6, 2005
  • James Skemp

While in my last post I said host-singular, really there's two major 'hosts', in a manner of speaking. Usually, this will be the case. JamesRSkemp.net, for example, was one host. So, let's look at JamesRSkemp.net when it was one host.

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Unreal Tournament and the HP Pavilion a620n

  • June 12, 2005
  • James Skemp

I was sceptical whether my machine, a HP Pavilion a620n, with standard specifications, could play Unreal Tournament 2004. Since I had a couple of hours to kill, late one night, I decided I would try downloading the demo, to see if it would run on my machine. I had previously downloaded the Unreal Tournament 2003 demo as well, to also see if I could get that to run, and had bought the Unreal Tournament, Game of the Year Edition, for an older computer. To make a long opening short, this guide is going to go over Unreal Tournament and the HP Pavilion a620n, with standard specifications (id est, no altercations). If you're using this computer, and would like to use one of these programs, I'm going to tell you if you can.

For those that don't have the HP Pavilion a620n, a little about the machine. It has a 3200+ AMD Athlon XP processor (which is 2.2 GHz), with 512 MB of PC2700 DDR SDRAM, and 64 MB of shared video memory (yuck). It's got a 160 GB hard drive, an 8x DVD+RW/CD-RW, along with a 48x CD-ROM. So, it's not a high-end machine, but it's certainly not quite that old yet. The machine comes standard with Windows XP SP1, which I have left on the machine (not quite ready to update to SP2 yet).

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Can we blame hosts for their poor HTML editors?

  • April 30, 2005
  • James Skemp

Description: A short article on HTML editors provided by Web site hosts.

Created: April 30th 2005

Modified: n/a

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Fractal Explorer: Creating Your Own Fractals

  • March 6, 2005
  • James Skemp

Learning a program can be quite fun and rewarding, but can also be somewhat disarming. While there were a number of guides on the Internet that discussed Fractal Explorer, I felt that none of them did any great service to this great program. So, I set out to create my own guide, in a format that did not force a user to view only a small amount of information at a time.

Guides can be downloaded in Adobe PDF format only.

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Anti-Virus Software

  • January 9, 2005
  • James Skemp
The average computer user is not an IT (Information Technology) professional. That said, the average computer user, computer users below average (especially), and many above average computer users, will end up with some kind of computer related problem at least once while using computers. There are a great number of reasons why this will occur, but for the most part it is because there are a number of programs out there that attempt to use computers for a specific purpose, while ignoring the desires of the computer’s user.

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Apophysis 2.0: Free Fully Commented Scripts

  • December 16, 2004
  • James Skemp

I offer the following, fully commented, scripts for use by the Apophysis (2.0) community. Feel free to copy the following scripts into the script editor for Apophysis 2.0 or download the script files from http://strivinglife.net/. Feel free to save the scripts on your own computers, but please do not share these scripts with others; rather, direct them to this article so they can be aware of my other scripts and any enhancements I release. Comments regarding these scripts are welcomed with open arms. Thanks, and enjoy J

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Games: Thoughts on Syberia™

  • October 31, 2004
  • James Skemp
As a Halloween gift to myself, I picked up a copy of Syberia™ at Best Buy yesterday afternoon. Since then, and after trying out a controller I picked up to play my PSX games on my PC, I’ve been playing it (Syberia™) with a few breaks, here and there. What follows are my thoughts on the game thus far, with around half the game complete. First off, the game is extremely aesthetically pleasing.

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Visual Basic Programming: Tic-Tac-Toe

  • December 31, 2003
  • James Skemp

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Pascal Programming: JRSs Tic-Tac-Toe

  • November 9, 2003
  • James Skemp

JRSs Tic-Tac-Toe is a simple game of Tic-Tac-Toe programmed with Dev-Pascal. It even keeps a tally of your points (win = +1, loss = -1).

Current limitations:

Runs in MS-DOS, and therefore lacks an interface of sorts

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Using Disk Investigator to Regain Files

  • October 9, 2003
  • James Skemp
I've already discussed Disk Investigator in some detail (see Overview of Disk Investigator). However, what I really want to have is an example of the great use Disk Investigator is. In order to do this, I'm going to set up an example - an example of a situation that is not too uncommon - in order to show just how powerful it is. I urge you to follow along, with my example, on your own computer.

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JRSs Terragen Water Window Guide

  • September 17, 2003
  • James Skemp
Description: Information regarding the Water window in Terragen™. Written during the release of 0.9.08, but, information should apply to various versions. This article is available in PDF format only. Read the article.

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WinMX Help: How to read those Double-Byte filenames, User ID's and Messages

  • August 20, 2003
  • James Skemp

This content is copyright Byte_Bucket(AT)hotmail(DOT)com.

Created: 20-Aug-2003

Revisions/Corrections to: Byte_Bucket(AT)hotmail(DOT)com
Please take your questions to Google.com and Windows online help.

WinMX Help

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JRSs Terragen Atmosphere Window Guide

  • August 9, 2003
  • James Skemp
Description: Information regarding the Atmosphere window in Terragen™. Written during the release of 0.9.08, but, information should apply to various versions. This article is available in PDF format only. Read the article.

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JRSs Terragen Terrain Genesis Window Guide

  • August 9, 2003
  • James Skemp
Description: Information regarding the Landscape window in Terragen™ - specifically the Generate Terrain option. Written during the release of 0.9.08, but, information should apply to various versions. This article is available in PDF format only. Read the article.

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Bioform 0.99g: Basic Worms

  • April 17, 2003
  • James Skemp
The following covers the following worms in Bioform 0.99g. Worms: Spiral Worm Curl Worm Double Spiral Predef Worm (not yet contained here) Worm Predef (not yet contained here) Form Worm TwoD Worm Torus Spline Configs: Fan Wheel Trilobyt Anemone Horn Hull Cluster   none Fan Wheel Trilobyt Spiral Worm Curl Worm Double Spiral Form Worm TwoD Worm Torus Spline   none Fan Wheel Trilobyt  

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Downloading Stuff From Other People Using WinMX

  • November 11, 2002
  • James Skemp

This is meant to help people understand the various things that you see when you download something off of someone else. If you have any questions, ask :)

Note: I no longer support WinMX. I merely post this in the hope that it's still of some benefit. Remember, P2P sharing is not, in itself, wrong - it's all about how you use it. Be responsible.

Thumbnails will open up images captured on my screen (1024x768) with irrelevant stuff cut out.

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